Health & Diet

All You Should Know About Insomnia

Insomnia 1Photo by Stijn De Meyere

Insomnia is difficulty staying asleep or falling asleep even when somebody has a chance to do so.

People who have insomnia usually feel dissatisfied with their sleep and often have one or more symptoms: low energy, mood disturbances, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, decreased performance in school or at work.

Insomnia can be characterized based on its duration. Acute insomnia last briefly and usually happens because of different life circumstances. A lot of people probably experienced this kind of passing sleep disruption, and it is usually resolved without any treatment.Chronic insomnia is a sleep which is disrupted and it occurs at least three nights during a week and lasts at least for three months. These disorders have a lot of causes.

Unhealthy sleep habits, changes in the environment, shift work, certain medications, and other clinical disorders can lead to a long-term pattern insufficient sleep. People who suffer from chronic insomnia may have benefits from some kind of treatment which can help them to get back to patterns of healthy sleep. Chronic insomnia can be linked to other psychiatric or medical issue. However, sometimes it is hard to understand this effect and cause relationship.

People who suffer from insomnia usually have difficulty staying asleep, falling asleep and they wake up too early every morning. Treatment for insomnia may include medical, behavioral, psychological components or some sort of combination. You have to talk with your doctor about your history of insomnia, particular situation and also its causes to decide what is the best treatment for you.

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Causes

Sometimes, insomnia can only last for a few days and disappear on its own, especially if insomnia is linked to some obvious temporary cause, such as stress over a painful breakup, jet lag, or upcoming presentation. However, sometimes insomnia is stubbornly persistent. Chronic insomnia is often linked to an underlying physical or mental issue.

– Psychological problems which may cause insomnia are anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic stress.

– Medications which may cause insomnia are flu and cold medications that contain alcohol, antidepressants, diuretics, thyroid hormone, pain relievers that contain caffeine, high blood pressure medications and corticosteroids.

– Medication problems which may cause insomnia are allergies, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, chronic pain, asthma, Patkinson’s disease, acid reflux and cancer.

– Sleep disorders which may cause insomnia are restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea and narcolepsy.

Symptoms

Most people have experienced acute insomnia, which lasts for brief period of time. Also, almost everybody knows how it feels like to be awake and stare at ceiling, wishing to fall asleep. This can happen when you are anxious and overwhelmed by your life circumstances or when you travel and you experience jet lag. So how do you distinguish serious form of insomnia that requires treatment from a normal, passing sleep problem?

People who suffer from insomnia have one or even more symptoms, such as: Difficulty staying asleep, difficulty falling asleep, unrefreshing sleep, waking up too early in the morning, cognitive impairment, such as difficulty concentrating, low energy or fatigue, behavior problems, such as aggression or feeling impulsive, mood disturbance, such as irritability, difficulty in personal relationship, including friends, family and caregivers, and difficulty at school or work.

Treatments

Sleep disorder treatments depend on the specific diagnosis. In case of primary insomnia it is important to improve “sleep hygiene”: Get out of bed when you can’t sleep, keep regular sleep hours, use bad only for sleep and sex, and avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening. Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea can involve use of special breathing equipment at bedtime or weight loss.

People who suffer from narcolepsy must take medication. People who suffer from chronic insomnia should use medication which induces sleep. However, some of these medications can be addicted, so it is usually best to limit their consumption to a few weeks. When the cause of a sleep disorder is an underlying psychiatric disorder, both psychotherapy and meditation may be required.

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